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Cloud9

ADD and Autism

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Reading through the mountains of research articles I get at work, I came across an article about ADD and Autism being related. It basically said that in many, many cases of Autism, ADD/ADHD symptoms are present but not in the reverse. So, normal brain< ADD/ADHD< Autism. Also, you can't diagnose ADD when Autism is present.

When I was 3 or 4 and had already mastered the cello and basic math, the doctor told my mom I had "just a touch" of Autism. I know both disorders have very different treatments now, but I wonder if when I was little (before ADD had been given a name) I had whatever treatment was done for autism back then... would I function better now?

I mean, because my young life was so traumatic, I try to think forward on most things but I really wonder if I could have avoided being so crazy now. It's pretty frustrating to have my brain sometimes. It just seems to affect my life so much more as I get older. I have become so bad, that I actually have to pay for house cleaning because I can't get past making the long, long list of irrational things involved in cleaning the living room.

I'm really lucky to have a job that has room for my distractions but if I didn't... I failed at so many things. I worry a bit for my future. I can/have had success in being a patient care nurse, but it deteriorates my mental health by so much that it isn't worth doing.

True to ADD form, I've diverged a bit. But, what do you think about the connection?

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Reading through the mountains of research articles I get at work, I came across an article about ADD and Autism being related. It basically said that in many, many cases of Autism, ADD/ADHD symptoms are present but not in the reverse. So, normal brain< ADD/ADHD< Autism. Also, you can't diagnose ADD when Autism is present. This is one of the more fascinating things about these conditions. To add to your conundrum, Autism and Schizophrenia come out of the same chromosome, even though they are nearly opposite illnesses. Both illnesses involve a malfunction in understanding and processing social signals and behaviors, but in opposite ways. Those with severe autism cannot interact socially and may regard other people as little more than objects: conversely, those with Schizophrenia may attach too much meaning to people and their actions, perceiving (read as creating/manufacturing) intentions and relationships that do not exist.

Of course, there is another view of shared links between the 2-- the same error that occurs very early in pregnancy develops into autism in one individual and schizophrenia in another. Some research reveals that in the period between 20 and 40 days after fertilization, the embryo is highly susceptible to disruptions. In this period, early organogenesis, there is a lot of interaction between the different parts of the body. If something goes wrong with a given part of the body, it greatly influences the development of other parts of the body. As people with schizophrenia and autism frequently have physical abnormalities to body parts formed during early organogenesis (toes, intestines, ears), some researchers are now suggesting that the foundation for these psychiatric disorders is laid very early during pregnancy.

In the end, we simply know so little about the neurobiology of mental illness!

When I was 3 or 4 and had already mastered the cello and basic math, the doctor told my mom I had "just a touch" of Autism. I know both disorders have very different treatments now, but I wonder if when I was little (before ADD had been given a name) I had whatever treatment was done for autism back then... would I function better now? I would imagine so. The advances in treatment over the last 10-15 years are remarkable, especially with discrete trials and newer strategies like applied behavior analysis, which have been refined for these conditions.

I mean, because my young life was so traumatic, I try to think forward on most things but I really wonder if I could have avoided being so crazy now. It's pretty frustrating to have my brain sometimes. It just seems to affect my life so much more as I get older. I have become so bad, that I actually have to pay for house cleaning because I can't get past making the long, long list of irrational things involved in cleaning the living room. You can also do what we have parents do with their children. We have them divide up the room into 8th's or 12th's and the child is expected only to clean a small section of the room, such as a square yard in the corner, and no more. On day 2 he cleans another square yard adjacent to it but also must keep the first squared off area clean. After around 10-15 days, the room can be cleaned and the child is nit overwhelmed with the business of looking at the entire room as one huge mass of a mess.

I'm really lucky to have a job that has room for my distractions but if I didn't... I failed at so many things. I worry a bit for my future. I can/have had success in being a patient care nurse, but it deteriorates my mental health by so much that it isn't worth doing.

True to ADD form, I've diverged a bit. Nope... you stayed right on topic fro start to finish.

But, what do you think about the connection? While the DSM-IV-TR committee has suggested that you can't diagnose both at the same time, those who treat individuals with both conditions manifesting do so anyway and ignore the research or DSM protocol.

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my child was diagnosed as fitting somewhere on the autistic spectrum at the age of 3. He was also extremely hyperactive and out of control . I heard so many things from his teachers during those years my son was young . Even that my son was retarded >

What happened with My son, was he simply started to be able to control himself better the older he became. By the age of 13 he no longer needed medication to help him with his hyperactivity , and he learned right from wrong , not to hit others , ect.

a few years later , he is now once again diagnosed as having autistic disorder. REALLY ? he has always had this, always been in classrooms for this, now as he has matured , autism , is primary again.

this is why many professionals do not like to diagnose a child too young of an age as having autism , sometimes, the waters are murky. What can be worse is different professionals will say different things about the same child.

unless the child is severely autistic , does not show any other behavior signs it is often not so cut and dry .

Obtaining the services , and right programs need to be the primary goal of the parent who has a child with a developmental delays. Try not to get lost in the labels .

i thought it would be better now , my child has the label officially back on him again.

NO , not for me. because it is a label. My son is my child , not a label . He is this , he is that , or what not over the years, well , ok professionals , and teachers. How about he be just my child first ?

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Mscat, I agree that no one should be a label. For me, the diagnosis/label was what provided a guideline to my treatment or rather, my lifestyle change. Doc and I knew I'd need a lifestyle change to accomplish my plans but having the label told us what kind of changes to make.

Each diagnosis family has with it a "best way". The best way of learning, succeeding, working, etc. Having the right diagnosis makes it possible to get the right treatment.

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Mscat, I agree that no one should be a label. For me, the diagnosis/label was what provided a guideline to my treatment or rather, my lifestyle change. Doc and I knew I'd need a lifestyle change to accomplish my plans but having the label told us what kind of changes to make.

Each diagnosis family has with it a "best way". The best way of learning, succeeding, working, etc. Having the right diagnosis makes it possible to get the right treatment.

Well put , Sharrpa. I am going to have to make some lifestyle changes wen my child turns 18. It is because of what you just wrote. We will ned to move into a bigger city in order for my son to recieve services and a good day program that will meet his needs. Right now we live in a tiny town , their are not services , not even in the county that will be meeting his needs .

First and foremost the right diagnoses needs to be established. Than the services can be implemented to meet the needs of the individual.

As much as labels as difficult to hear , it is the building block to services and support.

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